Outside The Cleanroom: The Importance of Air Showers

Cleanrooms are great at maintaining a contaminant-controlled environment, with expertly engineered filtration systems, humidity and temperature controllers, and construction to ensure a totally contamination free workspace. Filters in the cleanroom can only do so much, though, and the job of keeping a cleanroom clean really starts well before anyone sets foot in it. Air ShowerThe main purpose of filtration in a cleanroom is to keep microscopic airborne particles from entering the space – they’re not designed to eliminate the everyday dirt, dust, and other particles that accumulate on people and objects who are entering the cleanroom. That’s where the air shower enters the picture.

Depending on the application required in the cleanroom, the air shower can be an integral part of the cleanroom setup. Basically, it does the heavy lifting of cleaning that everyday particulate matter off of a person who is properly attired for cleanroom entry, or object, prior to entering the cleanroom space.  A system of high pressure air nozzles spray clean air at high pressure on the entrant, literally scrubbing the entrant of forbidden contaminants. Filters trap  the dirty air  and keep it out, allowing the user to move into the cleanroom as contaminant-free as possible. That initial step of entering an air shower to remove particles from the people or objects entering the cleanroom, allows the cleanroom filters themselves to work at as high an efficiency as possible, ensuring that the cleanliness level of the cleanroom and the project within it are maintained.

We feature a full line of air showers here at Liberty Industries, and we can also build to your custom requirements. Contact us for more information!  To see an air shower in operation, watch this video.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-WYuIE57rk]

The Space Age with Liberty Industries

This video from NASA shows some final steps in preparing spacecraft – everything from shuttles to satellites – to be launched into orbit. What is the most important part of this final check? The fact that it occurs in a cleanroom. As you know, there’s plenty of preparation for a person to enter a cleanroom as well: the Tacky Mat®, a shoe cleaner, a “bunny suit”, and an air shower. NASAAll of these steps appear in the video – and each of these products can be manufactured or supplied by Liberty Industries.

Of course, we’re pleased to be working with NASA, and the video did a great job of giving a quick and easy overview of the importance of cleanrooms. There’s a lot more to cleanroom protocol than what you can see in the video. From filtration units to laboratory equipment itself, there’s so much that goes into keeping the cleanroom clean, and Liberty can provide all of it. We take contamination control seriously, whether it’s for NASA, one of our Fortune 500 clients, or our next new customer, potentially you. Contact us with any further questions!

Effective Cleanroom Building: A “Don’t-Do-It-Yourself” Project

Cleanroom constructionThere are some projects that just about anyone can do, with a trip to Home Depot, a weekend in the garage, and a familiarity around a toolbox.  But some tasks require a level of expertise and specialized knowledge that the layperson just does not possess. Yet in recent times, the “DIY” approach to designing almost anything under the sun seems to have taken hold regarding any task, however complicated and out of the “backyard project” scope it may be.

Where did the rapid expansion of this mentality come from? The difficult economic times of the past few years play a role, to be sure, and so does the sheer volume of Complete Idiot’s Guide manuals in stock online and on bookshelves. And if those kinds of books don’t do the trick for you, you can watch a YouTube video or read an eHow article and have all your home improvement questions answered in a few minutes. While we at Liberty Industries have no problem in theory with this sort of problem-solving, we also know from years of personal experience that a DIY approach can’t come close to successfully building a facility as complex as a fully-functioning cleanroom.

Just as building a rocket that can make it into space requires an actual team of rocket scientists, building a cleanroom requires a qualified cleanroom design engineer. This engineer and anyone working under his or her supervision must be alert to any challenges and difficulties that lie between receiving a design and list of requirements, and successful completion of the cleanroom.

The design and construction team’s expertise also is not limited strictly to knowledge of contaminants – they wear many hats. They must be literate and experienced in the design of HVAC systems, and how those systems contribute to the successful Cleanroommaintenance of atmospheric conditions such as humidity, temperature, and pressure. They must act as architects, and be familiar with what sort of floor plan might best be employed at the particular facility in order to ensure adequate contamination protection (i.e. should, or could, the cleanroom have an antechamber or gowning room installed that allows workers to leave their “contaminated” day-clothes behind?) They must be well-versed in the properties of the materials used in building the facility, and whether these materials are appropriate to be used within such an environment. These are just a few examples of the questions that a qualified cleanroom engineer must ask him or herself before agreeing to build such a facility.

We certainly do not mean to discourage thoughtful “do-it-yourself” design in general. Out-of-the-box thinking certainly has useful and essential applications. That being said, the science of cleanroom design and fabrication is tried and true, but remains a challenge to many who would attempt it.  With many decades of experience in this field under our belt, we at Liberty Industries do feel entitled to say it: leave expertise to the experts. You’ll never regret the results.

A New Item for Laboratories: the PureSeal Pass-Thru Unit

Since 1953, Liberty Industries has been in the business of designing, building, and perfecting new contamination control technologies and strategies. Through nearly six decades of careful and consistent effort, we have accumulated a time-tested track record in building products that assure the necessary contamination controls in work environments that require them. Products that started out as one-time, custom designs have developed gradually into whole lines with a host of specific applications.

One product line that we are especially proud of fabricating is our new PureSeal Pass-Thru series. Pass-thrus are an existing technology, and basically operate hand-in-hand with a PureSeal Pass-Thru Unitcleanroom. Pass-thrus are units that allow for products or materials like laboratory tools and medical instruments, as well as products being manufactured to “pass through” from a contaminated environment to a cleaner ISO 14644-1 specified cleanliness level. To that effect, we offer various pass-thrus that apply different shapes and/or sizes, as well as materials of construction, toward that overall goal.

Liberty’s PureSeal Pass-Thru is intended for use in such areas as research university and biotechnology laboratory settings. Applying lessons learned over many years, the PureSeal performs its task of keeping exterior contaminants away from the interior cleanroom environment. Comprised entirely of easy-to-disinfect, electropolished 304 stainless steel, and employing a custom monolithic PureSeal gasket that allows for steam cleaning, the PureSeal is uncompromising in terms of its protective ability. An isolated mechanical interlock adds one more line of contaminant separation, ensuring that the interior and exterior doors of the PureSeal can never be open at the same time.

Help us to do a better job in providing innovative, state of the art products for scientific research and development.  Feel free at any time to contact us with suggestions or just to let us know how you’ve applied our products to perform your job.